These Greek gods are crazy! The colossal statue that welcomes visitors to the Tonnerre de Zeus attraction in the Parc Astérix is now wearing pink pants. This eccentric aberration in clothing (can you imagine Taranes or Pelinos wearing panties under their breeches?) has one virtue: notification in a very visible way (especially for Instagram followers…) rehabilitating the iconic wooden roller coaster. The popular attraction was closed for several months, and reopened in the spring under the name Tonnerre de Zeus 2.
Regardless of the pink underwear, the project manager for the rehabilitation himself admits that “the majority of the public will not realize that there are changes.” What exactly are we talking about? Damien Thibault explains: “The main change is related to the train, which is a new, more efficient, better and more visible model. The track, bumps, cliffs, and a tunnel have also been modified with special effects. For us, or people in the area, and even regular visitors, these are big changes. »
Air time in my life
This rehab look was totally unsurprising, yet it was necessary to adhere to current standards for this kind of sexy cuteness. “We removed a curve that was uncomfortable, as the train was hitting the curve. As the train goes faster and the route is a bit shorter, the time spent on pulling has been reduced. But we are gaining intensity. In addition to comfort, passengers will be able to count on a record number of air timesThose moments when you feel like falling into the void and floating.
The third favorite attraction for visitors to Parc Astérix (after Osiris and the Pégase Express), Tonnerre de Zeus has a reputation for being an iconic roller coaster, which can be seen (and heard, thank you fasting people) from afar. Damien Thibault posits that this arms race in which major theme parks are participating: “There are more family parks, and there are parks specializing in exciting attractions. We have to be good all around to seduce all the masses, that’s our strategy and our position. With these kinds of factors Attraction, there is an expectation of excitement. You must have this roller coaster.”
Faster, higher and more upside down
Of course, Parc Astérix could not close his star attraction for a long time (six months of work) and did not want to revolutionize it either. However, he intends to attract a new audience, or bring back old visitors, thanks to this rehabilitation. “In terms of attractiveness, nothing beats a new attraction. But with Thunder of Zeus 2, it is believed that the effect of curiosity will be very strong. At the moment, there are a lot of people, but this is also connected with two years of closures and restrictions. People prevented themselves from coming And there they are trying to catch up…”
As for whether visitors demand faster and more impressive combinations, who knows who can answer. “There are no explicit requests for this, admits Damien Tibault. And one would think we fall a little bit into the ‘always more’ trap with this kind of rehab. But with a wooden roller coaster, you need regular maintenance anyway. So it’s possible Also improving it, right? »
To stay updated, a car has been added in Reverse, for the most adventurous. On the other hand, Tonnerre de Zeus 2 has not succumbed to the other major trend at the moment: queuing writing. Most of the new attractions keep visitors waiting (for Tonnerre de Zeus, it can easily take an hour to wait…) with graphics and decorations on the theme of the fun tour. Damien Thibault says: “It was not possible with Tonnerre de Zeus which does not have a true story. People also have a habit. For this attraction, the voices and cries of the people on the train are enough to create the atmosphere…”
We finish the roller coaster well
Even without mentioning this rehabilitation that should extend its life, the Tonnerre de Zeus, which was created in 1997, is already a veteran. To the point of dying one day? “We don’t think about it at the moment, laughs Damien Thibault. It’s very rare that we give up on an attraction. In Parc Astérix, that was the case with Transdemonium, which required a lot of maintenance and feedback that was pretty poor. We shut it down and threw it away.”
If Toner de Zeus one day suffered the same fate, there is little chance that his plates would end up in chimneys. “There is a huge flea market in the amusement park community,” says Damien Thibault. We reconfigure the collections, change the size to adapt to the new location… Not all parks are required, like Parc Astérix, to constantly innovate. »
For Thunder of Zeus 3, in the year 2050, we wore the little green pants of the Greek god.